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22.12.2004: 5. Finished
Here's the finished assembly with an extra bump stop to fill the gap and the wires soldered on to restore the broken connections. The changer works now.

The stereo head unit on a 1994-1998 Saab 900 does not have a CD player, which is a bit strange for an entry luxury car of the mid-90s. However, it does support Clarion C-Bus CD changers. Just plug and play.

I went on eBay and bought a Clarion RDC605 CD changer for $52. Plugged it in... and it didn't play. Here are the symptoms:

  • the changer loads the cartridge and checks every slot for CDs;
  • when you select "CD" on the head unit, the changer attempts to select the first available CD;
  • the SID displays  CD1 WAIT  for a few seconds, and then switches to the radio;
  • subsequent attempts to press "CD" on the head unit result in a brief message  CD1 TRK 01  and then the unit switches back to radio again.
If you take off the cover and watch the changer trying to load a CD, you discover that it would indeed try to pull a CD from the cartridge, load it into the player, and then do it again, and again, and then stop after a few more attempts.

 

 
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